A report from The Information revealed that Microsoft had secretly designed AI chips to cope with the increasing development costs for internal and OpenAI projects.
It is said that Microsoft has been developing a hardware venture since 2019, the details of which have now been revealed. This project appears to be an attempt by the Redmond, Washington firm to lessen its reliance on Nvidia’s GPUs.
Microsoft has been designing an AI processor for internal use since 2019, known as Athena. The hope is that the chip will enable them to rein in the cost of running big language models, similar to OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
A search on Google shows that the Nvidia H100, a highly favored GPU for training machine learning systems, has become more expensive due to its limited availability in the market and is now being sold for as much as $40,000 on reseller services like eBay.
Over the past few years, the escalating hardware prices have caused several large tech corporations, like Meta, Google, and Amazon, to construct their machine-learning chips.
Little is known at this time, but according to The Information’s report, Microsoft has been working on a chip under the title of “Athena,” likely about the Greek goddess of war. This comes as competition between AI technology increases significantly.
The document additionally states that personnel from Microsoft’s machine-learning division and OpenAI’s engineers are already conducting tests on the new chips.
What OpenAI plans to do with Microsoft’s AI chips is uncertain. Nevertheless, Sam Altman, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder stated at MIT that the infrastructure and design that enabled them to progress from GPT-1 to GPT-4 had been exhausted and must be reconsidered.
Sam Altman says:
“I think we’re at the end of the era where it’s going to be these, like, giant, giant models. We’ll make them better in other ways.”
Recently, the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been quite active, with Amazon debuting its self-created models as part of its Bedrock AI infrastructure launch. This development follows a hectic news cycle for the AI industry.
On April 17, in an interview with Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, tech mogul and the world’s wealthiest individual Elon Musk declared the imminent dispatch of TruthGPT – a purported “truth-hunting” expansive language model intended to take on ChatGPT’s supposed left-wing inclination.
As AI continues transforming various industries and becoming more pervasive in our daily lives, it’s exciting to see companies like Microsoft investing in the hardware and software necessary to drive this transformation forward. We can expect to see advancements in AI technology as companies like Microsoft push the boundaries of what’s possible.